A GROUP of young footballers had their luscious locks shaved off for charity after being inspired by a smiley six-year-old boy with a rare skin condition.

The entire AFC Bournemouth youth team agreed to have their heads shaved in a bid to raise thousands of pounds for the charity DEBRA, which supports people with the genetic condition Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB).

They took up the challenge after meeting EB sufferer and Cherries fan Mason White who has to be wrapped up in bandages to protect his skin, which blisters at the slightest of knocks.

The talented teens were so moved after hearing Mason’s mother Kerry explain how the condition affects his everyday life, they made DEBRA their charity of the year and put on their fundraising hats.

Second year scholars Joe Quigley and Matt Butcher came up with the idea after first meeting Mason in August.

Joe said: “We got to meet Mason and his mum and his family and it was quite emotional seeing what he has to go through so we thought we would try to raise as much money as we possibly can to help.”

Matt added: “Our target is £5,000 but we are just hoping to raise as much money as we can and to raise awareness as well.”


Kerry White said the family, who live in St Leonards, would have been lost without the support of DEBRA, which contributes towards the cost of specialist nurses who help look after Mason.

She said she was overwhelmed by the support the family had received from the young players.

“I thought with them being young lads they would struggle to relate to us but a couple of them were really shocked by it. They’ve been fantastic.”

Joe Roach, Cherries academy manager, said he was very proud of the team.

He said: “They have been planning this for weeks. It’s great to be able to offer a bit of support to such a worthwhile cause. I’m really proud of the lads.”

To donate go to bit.ly/TheBigShave